History Bowl 2020 – But Make It Virtual!

Freshman Team takes the Title!


Screenshot by Mr. Sirico

The Whoopties and the Patriots go head to head in the History Bowl finals!

Nate Hetzer, Reporter, Senior

For the time being, in-person competitions are history; this year the History Bowl made history when, for the first time, the event was held virtually. On December 10 eight teams entered the competition, knowing that only one team would leave victorious.  Much to the dismay of the others, it was The Patriots who seized the win, a team composed of freshmen Spencer Conrad, Isaac Lief, Padraig Pearlman, Bates Bland, Pierre Caillate, and Benjamin Koff.  This dream team found themselves face to face with The Chingus’ Children, The Whoopties, and the Prehistoric Predators, in that order.

Ninth grade history buff Bates Bland said, “The biggest change for us is that [due to COVID-19] we  never practiced in person. The way that we organized our team was to have each person become an expert in an area of history. I studied Eastern European History and modern events.”

Through individual studying and group chat communication, the team was able to manage the necessary preparations with electronic aid.  During the event itself, they used a FaceTime call to stay in contact with one another, while responding to questions and raising (virtual) hands via Google Meet.  

The History Bowl has run for several years, with teams facing each other according to a bracket.  During each round, teams respond to questions regarding various historical periods and events for points.  Virtual hand-raising and technological aids were a boon to some, providing equal communication abilities among all students and coordinators, as well as an electronic medium through which the administrators could silence chatter and control who speaks at any given time.   

Onscreen, one could see the competitors amassed in their individual calls, each communicating from different locations yet fighting for the same prestigious title of History Bowl winner.  The nature of  this competition may have changed, but the spirit of it remained intact, as evidenced by all the well-exercised teams that battled for victory during the Bowl.

It is deserving of recognition that the History Bowl was successfully planned, executed, and won by students and staff whose successes attest to the values of Pelham Memorial High School. Particular recognition goes to Mr. Sirico of the Social Studies department who ran the tournament.